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Neil Barofsky; Michael Grunwald; David Mar... Education. (2013) 2012 Miami Book Fair International Panel on President Obama. New.

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  CSPAN    Book TV    Neil Barofsky; Michael Grunwald; David Mar...  Education.   
   (2013) 2012 Miami Book Fair International Panel on President...  

    January 5, 2013
    3:55 - 4:59pm EST  

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for those of us who were young starting there, there were really, there were sort of woodward people, and there were maraniss people. the woodward people were the ones who wanted to grow up and write the stories that brought down a president, and the maraniss people were the people who wanted to write stories that were a little more interesting than that. [laughter] and i was definitely a maraniss person. after this latest round of books, i think i'm even more of a maraniss person. but it really is, it's an honor being here with david because he's the best. the subtitle of my book is "the hidden story of change in the obama era." and it is, it is a book about change. and so let me talk a little bit about obama, his day, and it was really his vision of change. um, you know, there are kind of three interesting questions that
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you could ask about obama as an author. i think one of them is sort of is this obama guy for real, right? i mean, you know, we see him, he's this kind of no drama obama, the cerebral, low blood pressure, comfortable in his skin sort of aloof, kind of comically reasonable alpha male, right? but then there's this other literature out there where he's this, you know, kind of insane right-wing socialist -- left-wing socialist. [laughter] that in the right-wing literature. and then even in the mainstream he's often kind of this feckless, bumbling, can't do anything right guy whenever the economy is bad and his approval ratings are bad. my sort of spoiler alert is that in my book the obama's kind of that same guy you read about.
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the sort of left-of-center technocrat, pragmatic, data-oriented, kind of this biracial nate silver with some swag, i guess. [laughter] you know, he's -- you know, i don't want to undersell. i do tell some fun obama stories, right in and in october 2008 after lehman brothers collapsed and the mccain campaign was imploding along with it, obama quips to one of his advisers are we sure it's too late to hand this pile of crap to mccain and the party that created it? [laughter] and the adviser says, yeah, yeah, t probably too late. it's probably too late. and obama goes, well, at least we're buying low. [laughter] not low enough, as it turned out. and in december when his economic aide, christy roamer, she called in with the first jobs report, and she couldn't resist, i'm so sorry,
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mr. president-elect, the numbers are just horrible. he says, oh, you know, it's not your fault -- yet. [laughter] and another time a little later in the administration david axlerod is in the oval office with him, and he goes, gosh, you know, i wonder what it would be like to govern in good times, and obama just laughs and goes, are you kidding? in good times we never would have got the job. [laughter] anyway, but he kind of, he kind of is what he is, and it's sort of what he presents it to be. i guess question number two about obama would be, well f he's this sort of -- if he's this sort of sane, grounded, sort of left-of-center but not let the perfect be the enemy of the good guy but, you know, kind of knows who he is and just goes around trying to do the right thing, i mean, how did he get this way, right? because if you read his autobiography, he was this kind
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of tortured soul, right? alienated, obsessed with questions of identity. and the answer to that question is, i don't know, read maraniss' book. [laughter] today i don't pretended to come up with some new psychological theory of the man, and that is why god invented david, to do the digging about how this alienated guy ended up so normal. i'm sort of interested in question number three which is what did he do? um, i had in this kind of unusual notion that the way to understand obama and his policies and his successes and, you know, his kind of strange inability to market his successes was to just sort of look at what happened and kind of where the money went. so i do, you know, the book, i
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use the stimulus of the sort of microcosm of the obama era, and the stimulus has become this incredible joke in washington. i don't think i could have written this book if i still lived there. i mean, it's just, it's $800 billion worth of levitating trains to disneyland and mob pew seems and honeybee insurance, and just the idea of taking it seriously shows you just don't get it, you're kind of not in on the washington narrative. i remember trying to pitch my editors at "time" magazine a story about how, you know, the stimulus was sort of more than, more than meets the eye, and -- i don't know, did you guys watch the newsroom on hbo? i felt like i was the blogger kid trying to pitch the story about how bigfoot is real, right? [laughter] ..
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is the lot better than losing 800. he really does turn on if you look at the economic studies done, this recovery could prevent the discussion and the recession. a quarter task turned out to be the biggest improvement in 30
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years. sort of part of the story. but he was known as the american recovery of investment that do what i found most interesting to jumpstarting this recovery was that the stimulus related again this long-term investment. it is by far the largest energy bill in the history country. the stimulus poured and 90 billion, just complete game changer for when, solar and other renewables, energy efficiencies in every imaginable form. i get caught for saying nice things, electric vehicles, advanced biofuels, clean energy resource center elegies of tomorrow in factories to build this staff in the united states. not just energy, but the
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stimulus is going to drag our antiquated health care system into the digital era said that your doctor might not kill you with his chicken scratch handwriting. by 2015, every american will have an electronic medical record from which really should improve care and reduce cost and as a down payment on health care reform. this included the most ambitious education reform in decades. had the largest infrastructure investments since eisenhower. the largest research investment after. the largest low-cost tax cut since reagan went to more than 95% of the country and less than 10% country noticed it. but in my book i do try to get deep into the bowels of the white house and the backgrounds of capitol hill, but also to be a fly on the wall on the energy department weatherization
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division, actually known as the turkey farm. add to the local high-speed real meetings in the central valley where i saw obama called it replaced. i did spend some time in that way to think he's too fancy sillinger factory factory, to. but my novel approach was to try and figure out what he's doing. another spoiler alert here, but the most important thing you should know about obama's a mostly try to do what he said he would do. he came into office at this and usually well-defined theory and a straight up with that. to guard this. his kid and agenda in 2008 to attract a lot of attention in the media was obsessed with his racing crazy pastor and funny ads comparing him to paris
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hilton, but mostly the standard democratic agenda of reversing the bush era and a missing feature. obama cares about policy, but it's not a policy entrepreneur. the original campaign wasn't really about new ideas. it is about the of change in this aspirational weekend they been abandoned, the sense that the sky would follow through on the old ideas that never seem to go anywhere. i was on a panel in boston before the election with a guy named charlie baker who is a republican. he ran for governor in 2010 and got he said they develop patcher. -- develop patcher. he read my book instead is take away was to serve, whether you're on the right or left.
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and i think that's an implicit message of this book. i get asked all the time how did obama skewer politics about? have computer people think the stimulus created sharpes didn't think of this is still alive, which is actually true. i always first of all say this black guy whose middle name is hussein and got himself elected president of the united states didn't make him an on january 20, 2009, but he did this unbelievably unpopular stimulus. they make it an even more unpopular bailout and health care reform. he stood on his cultural things from ending the war in iraq, doing stuff in afghanistan, getting us into libya. he's making statements about gay
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marriage. gets involved in cap-and-trade in affronts analyst and politics of it. it turns out in a 50/50 nation his approval ratings are 50% and he got himself elected a second time, which i do try to remind people, do stuff. politicians spend so much time antagonizing other political ramifications of everything, which is understandable. i tell him agonizing story about how politics of tax cuts got screwed up so badly rahm emanuel if they would need to have this at mcmahon moment, the publishers clearinghouse squeal of pleasure where you open your check from barack. i do quote and talking about how that ways. but the fact is he was focused on trying to get stuff done he said he was going to do.
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i'm going to be just a little bit from the book. a lot of people expect the attack about obama versus republicans, especially now because i described a republican conspiracy to destroy obama before he even took office. but i'm going to talk a little about obama versus hillary from 2008 because i think it helps explain the last four years. the case for obama was not a substantive case for changing policy. hillary was making a similar case of the better resume. the case for almost a political case for my policies never seem to change. template hillary was part of the problem, that america can afford another decade of clinton wars, political pettiness and nastiness that exploded during the clip or a list of fundamental obstacle to fundamental change. hillary's one-word explanation for persistence of the status quo was republicans.
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obama says washington, the endless spin cycle, insult industries and platitudes that high-tech choices and common sense to compromise impossible. as a symbol and participate, hillary was inextricably linked to the washington gridlock machine. the bickering and parsing, the eternal boomer driven vilification of the 60s. the case for hillary wishing you how to fight republican, she was comfortable in the mac. the case for obama was taken to politics beyond the mac. but upon his ideas of change in politics brought as a means to the end. in springfield he listed the four main problems he was running to solve. a dependence on oil that threatens our future. a health care crisis, schools were too many children aren't learning and families struggling paycheck to paycheck despite working as hard as they can.
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he argued real solutions would be impossible until washington to beyond those noise and rage. that stopped us remaining challenges is not the absence of sound policy and sensible plan. without this is failure of leadership. the ease with which were distracted by petty and trivial. chronic avoidance of tough decisions come a preference for cheap political points in several inaccuracies in building a working consensus to tackle big problems. that was the essence of obama's case against hillary. and that was wrong. it turned out it was possible to make progress on long-term problems, even while washington remained distracted by petty and trivial. the proof is in the recovery act. obama took office during an economic cataclysm and decided during an emergency change in
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the country is more important than the capital. change requires 60 votes in the united states senate. so the central drama of this book, literally the central section of the book is how obama pushed out the change into the timor country be for most of the staff have located the bathrooms in the west wing. it was unclean and was in pretty because rahm emanuel is in the middle of it so wasn't suitable for young ears, but the will debate is a case study and obama is on. to the disillusionment addict of the left and i apologize to those of you remember him come out of their current obama was about like every other politician, more interested in cutting deals and chasing dreams into the fever swamps on the right to know about obama as the euro socialist radical republicans never explained how
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the $716 billion in spending stimulus that even paul ryan supported well above the 787 tax and spending stimulus was crushing status and in the deaths of american free enterprise. that's the beauty of the minority. the stimulus is early evidence obama was but he said he was, this data oriented left of center technocrats above all privatized. it is the first evidence after campaigning as they change the system outsider, he would govern as they were persistent insider. despite the flowery talk he understood those that don't pass congress don't produce change. the stimulus producing change in iraq but obama was he was the worst guy, turns out he's more of a deep sky. not producing perfection, but it's making things better and better is better than worse.
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before the stimulus, 20%.receives juiciest electronic medical records. we won't have to fill out pages of paperwork or atomic go to the doctor. will reduce our costs and improve care. stimulus directly lifted 7 million americans out of poverty and reduce poverty for another 32 million americans who are already poor. the homelessness prevention program had 1.2 million people off the street or the homeless population declined in 2009. the half ended up homeless, the population would've doubled. an obscure program called build america financed $180 billion of local infrastructure projects. this is stimulus tucked in a stimulus. they did much a clean energy revolution that i talk about in the book. it doubled renewable power, created a domestic battery industry for the trip vehicles
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entirely from scratch, jumpstarted the smart grid and has reduced dependence on foreign oil to the lowest level since 1995. of course all you hear about is the cylinder scandal, which isn't even the scandal. it's supposed to symbolize a solar power is in a rush, the solar installations have increased more than 1000% since 2009. look, i'm going to write that. i know what i want to hear david. the economy is still struggling and obama and the recovery act have not lived at to the initial hay. nothing in life except parapet lives up to the hype. [laughter] the question was settled the is are you better off than you were four years ago? compared to the economy falling off a cliff in the seat 800,000
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jobs a month in being completely dependent on possible fuels and renewable energy rounding error in having two doctors unable to look at the same file without being in the same room. for a little bit better off. [applause] >> if you want to understand the obama's first four years, i don't think you can do better if she read the books by michael and neil, two brilliant guys who base their writing on facts and common sense and sharp analytics. so i'm happy to be here with them. i love this mother of all book festivals and i'm delighted to be back here again.
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it's a terrific job and always reinvigorating for any author to come to miami and see so many thousands of people who love books. barack obama is my 10th book in every four years since 1984 i had the same at the washington post to try to figure out someone who might be president. i started the process of the clinton, turning it into a book. so there's an assumption when i read about her obama in 2008, an assumption by my friends and colleagues that i would immediately launch into a biography of barack obama. i have to say doing it was one of the more difficult decisions i've made in my career and had nothing to do with barack obama. but what i considered the increasingly toxic nature,
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superficial nature of modern american politics and i wasn't sure i wanted to spend three or four years trying to get the true story and throw that into the mob of this culture, knowing there would be people who could manipulate any fact internet for their political purposes, which to some extent is what happened early on until i refuse to let it happen anymore. in any case, on election night 2008, i decided i had to do this book in the story itself is what destroyed me to it in a way that transcended any concerns about the political culture. this book is really driven by two of my sessions. the first is creation of barack obama, such an utterly random person. of course everyone in this room, every human being is a man
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creation. before barack obama, it seems that much more improbable. aside as an opportunity not to read about that, but the modern world through stories of the families that led to his creation coming from kenya in kansas and taking me around the world on a journey of more than 45,000 miles to figure that out. the second session was given the contradictions into which he was born, a biracial kid in hawaii in 1961, how did he do with? how did you figure himself out? how did he get to the resource possible to become president of the united states. it's really those obsessions that drove me through this book. i have sort of a mantra that i start every book with and that is go there, wherever there is.
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so i biography of some birdies at turning to my wonderful wife in entering the immortal words, how would you like to go to green bay for the winter? [laughter] to which she responded, her. but we did in the middle all the difference. to soak up a place in writing does things that don't even show up on the page, the sort of infuse the writing of this since you can't get any other way. since the time in 1996 and added those words, i did making it up to her ever since. how would you like to move to san juan puerto rico were too wrong to learn about the world of the 1960 olympics? this book more than any other really did take me around the world and a wonderful way, both of us. for the purposes of this discussion, going to focus mostly on the second half of my book, how did you figure it out,
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how did he overcome contradictions of his life and make it? i'm not sure if there's any workers in this room, but i'll start with the spurs. august 4, 1961, medical center in honolulu. for anyone not to believe he was born there, you have to accept the conspiracy theory. the immigration and naturalization service's amicus the receipt because they were documenting every step that barack obama senior, his father made. his father was a kenyan student in hawaii on a student visa and the ins did not like the rock upon senior the father because their daddy was a polygamist, which he was. he'd been married in kenya and not divorced.
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and the mores of 1959 americana, the year he came when their anti-miscegenation laws in more than a third of the states in the united states, the ins did not let kindly that this black man was dating white women united states. so they were eager to kick him out. if he and his bride had gone back to kenya to have his baby, he never would've gotten back in, simple as that. the documents show everything that happened. the third aspect of the conspiracy involves his mother. she was named stanley ann dunham. she was named after her father comes stanley dunham, the president's grandfather, who in that time wanted to have a boy because he didn't he post is named stanley on his daughter. the truth is different. the truth is that the mother,
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growing up in the small town of the fastest kansas and not wanting to be trapped by the small-town kansas atmospheric would go to the local movie theater and watch the movies. in 1942, a few months before her daughter was born, a movie starring bette davis came to town in which she played the character, a woman named stanley. so in any case, back to 1961, the week of the birth of barack obama, our president, a journalist in honolulu took out a doctorate and said what interesting happened in your life this week? and he paused and said stanley had a baby. it's not every week but stanley has a baby. so enough perhaps to birthdays and maybe we won't hear from donald trump again.
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caught mark to think about the world into which barack obama was born in hawaii. in one sense the most fortuitous state in the nation into which he could pull born, follows all sorts, japanese, chinese, portuguese, okinawans, the native hawaiian name for anglos. tom took belinsky, sounds polish. he was chinese. last night it was that kind of place. but it was also pleased about many african-americans. the only ones that are mostly associated with military bases and so barack obama growing up from the day he was born of course dealt with difficulties
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of race in america because of the color of his skin, but culturally, sociology he had to teach himself what it meant. at age six, before he got into consciousness about race, his mother fell in love with another foreign student, melissa tauro and off they went to indonesia. only when i went to indonesia to jakarta and watch chat walked the neighborhood at least narrow alleyways in the street vendors and sights and smells and some local kids playing a form of softball in the streets and went to the local school and talked about dairy at his mother called him. for three years he took his stepfather's names. little barrie, not under the umbrella of diplomats, but having to deal in that
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neighborhood, learn the language, play with the neighborhood kids come and go to neighborhood school. it was only when i watch this narrow street that washed over me this obvious truism that nonetheless took on deeper meaning, which weiss, what an incredible journey in south jakarta to president obama in the white house. he was there for three and a half years and his mother sent him back to honolulu. his grandfather, stanley dunham, who was a kid to some combination of willy loman, always had great dreams and stories, none of which turn out to be true nonetheless was an insurance salesman at that point and his boss at the insurance company was on the various on the elite school of hawaii,
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where all the descendents of the big five points and at the point that young dairy divan at age 10, which is starting to diversify the connections of his grandfather and grandmother that matalin then i'm not bette davis after marrying his care to realize she had to be a rock of the family not to be secretary and eventually ended up as a vice president. that bank of hawaii, the president goes on the board of directors, so that helps dagon barry into the school, which only had two other african-americans in it. he had to find his way and learn what it for him or his homeless. his mother was back in indonesia for most of that sh asonly 18 of which is learning a growing as he was and she had great desires to see the world and not be trapped as her
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mother had been. so she left for much of that time, left them in honolulu to be educated while she was often in indonesia working as an anthropologist and helping women, impoverished women make their way through their handicrafts, giving them the micro-finance loans they needed to do their work. barry obama is 10 years old at this point in his first connection to the color of his skin, his african-american aspect was to basketball, the city came. he started playing basketball then at age 10 and it helped him start to find his way culturally into finding himself. he had no greater ambitions than that throughout his high school and into his college career. i compare him with the clinton, the other subject of my
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biographies. bill clinton wanted to be president of the day he was born. when he was high school he ran for president every year until when he was a senior his principal, johnnie mae mackey came and said billy come you can't run for president anymore. and he said okay, i'll run for class secretary, which in that area was relegated to a girl of the school. so he ran against his girlfriend. and she beat him and he wouldn't talk to her for weeks. that's bill clinton. then he went to georgetown underclassman fresh president and sophomore class president. and his peers were sick of him and they defeated him again. but he kept running for any presidency he could find and eventually got the big one. [laughter] was elected twice. people ask me what's he going to do when he becomes president? if they keep running for president, which he did this
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year much to barack obama's -- caught mark pockmarked he ran 37 times this year for barack obama. barry obama had no political inclinations whatsoever. finally at age 18, i'm sorry, that is not the way the tiger was supposed to go out. he left the island of what to occidental college in los angeles and really see the first inkling for some pain. his mother, even this human spirit and a sensibility she was something special. you're not just a good time charlie. there some reason for you to be on this earth. he started associating with the intellectual older kid, this still wasn't quite -- was m. cohan. he didn't know what this place was and he spent two years there. he was also at that point in the
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first cohort of african-americans, maybe 80 or 90, but he wasn't quite there. he was more comfortable with the international students, the pakistanis and indians in french kids because he had an international sensibility. but he was finding his way. he was what i describe as this long to her home, which ends up in the middle of america. after two years at occidental, it was to upper-middle-class, easy and he wanted to get closer to the grit of american life and that's when he moved to new york and spent four years there, too at columbia into afterwards. until i did the research of the mystery years of his life, be you can see what he was doing, which is really this internal struggle to figure himself out. racially, sociologically,
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culturally and eventually professionally. he was somewhat of an anonymous carrot during new york. he spent months carrying a dogeared copy of rows all since invisible man and if that pocket and in the sense was the invisible man. he could see the world, but i couldn't see him. he was starting to figure out what its purpose was. one letter he wrote describing his friends and other aspects of his life, all finding a comfortable niche. he wrote that he felt envious of them that they could find a place. he said that for me to feel my own self-worth, i can't do that. i have to embrace it all. that letter at age 22 was the first iteration of the speech by which everyone in the server got to know him in 2004, keynote speech at the democratic national convention in boston.
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that really was a sensibility he took with him through the rest of his adult life. and again i'll compare it with bill clinton. you have these two young people, born essentially not nowhere, but very provincial settings. hawaii thousands of miles from the mainland, southwest arkansas. both without knowing their father's spirit will clinton sisco before he was born. barack obama's never lived with the family. both with alcoholism is part of the internal family secret. but having to resolve a lot of contradictions they did in completely different ways. bill clinton's way this point forward, we can up every morning, forgetting himself, forgetting the world, reinventing himself, not dealing with the problems of his own
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life, but pushing past them. he became the ultimate survivor and surely unlike any politician in being able to move past them succeed again and get in trouble again. so that ability got him to the white house that got them in trouble because he hadn't result a lot of things. survival skills got them out of trouble. he's leaving the white house and now is the most popular guy in the world. i hate to say it, but watch out. something will happen to them, but then he'll figure his way past that. same circumstances in many ways with the important exception is trying to figure himself out racially. but he do with it in a completely different way. the time he left hawaii at age 18 until he was 27 and went to harvard law school, he really spent those eight and a half years trying to work out all those contradictions and you can see it in his writing, the
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journals of his girlfriend and everything he was saying and doing, either internal struggle. to the extent that any human being can do it, he cannot have that. that's what i would call an integrated personality and that carried him through his political life to the white house and to some degree superficially got them in trouble in the white house because he carried with him a sensibility if i can figure out all the contradictions of my life, why the heck can't congress? why can't the rest of the world? so we had to work his way through those perceptions in the white house. my study of him has always been that some people never learn and change and grow, they just become more so what they are in barack obama at every step along the way he has learned to adapt to change and grow and that's why i have such strong feelings about the possibility of his
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second term, even though there's so many variables that none of us know now. he wrote a campaign in an event happened that no one was expecting, plus the problems of being a lame duck to a certain extent in a second term. nonetheless, he is learned and grown enough in the first term but the possibilities are there for an second term. in chicago after those four years in new york that all of the click together. he'd been on the search trying to find himself as a human being, as an african-american man in chicago when he got there and work on the southside in the rosedale neighborhood as a community organizer, in this chaotic, loving embrace of middle-aged black women who for the first time thought he was in a community is 98% african-american and he embraced a sort of washed over him in a
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way he relies chicago is home. it was also there is a community organizer dealing with realities of power and study in power, watching corporations take shots at the southside, watching electro- politicians work the charisma of politics on the people he was trying to organize. obama came to the conclusion that the only way for him to do what he wanted to do, to change the world was to elected politics. he reached those realization in the first three years in chicago from 1985 to 1988. once he realized that, he went to kenya for the first time and follow the roots of this grant other, the first of the obama's to be westernized and of his own father, barack obama senior who had gone back to kenya and lived
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a very frustrating early career, dying young at age 42, were all of the elements started to come together from the kansas side of his family and the kenyan side, going back to the suicide of his great-grandmother and an auto garage in topeka kansas 1926, where his grandfather went to live with his grandparents, the reiteration of children living with their grandfather. all these elements came together at that point and that's where this book adds, within driving to harvard. the old blue honda civic was gone. though he had another car, he used yellow dots and costs $500, a hole in the floorboard. the engine was good enough to get amari had to go. no guys could've been more the product of randomness than his. the stranger in kenya and the young suicide victim in topeka,
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kansas, from a chance meeting, from the chaos is ancestors, from a childhood in distant hawaii and more distant indonesia, from the feelings of a double outsider is the biracial and cross-cultural kid and after nine years starting from the moment he reached occidental in the mainland of intense introspection trying to figure things out to make sense of his life. from all that come he got not only a home, but it passed in the striving hard now for his harvard law, a stop on the way to his famous unimaginable destination, his own eldorado. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you to our three authors. we have time for two questions only. two questions only.
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thank you. >> hello. thank you. i was really tremendously interesting. my question is david, you said something about the other promised second term. i none of us have a crystal ball, they seen what she you now and all three of you can speak to the experience of the last four years, what do you think we can expect to see in the next four years? do you have any ideas? [inaudible] >> very quickly, i'll get an answer that sounds like a told, but i think it's neo-embodies many of many of us tend to
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forget that the health care act enacted in the first term will really be felt in the second term in so many different ways. as i rose out of the next two years, that congress meant in and of itself in the way it affects millions of people, much like his michael described the first stimulus, even more so with health care at the totality of that will start to be realized by this country in the second term and there are other aspects of it, but that's the point i would like to make first. [applause] >> i've got a possibly related question, slightly more realistic tone. like i was with a large percentage people here have voted for obama the last two times and i've worked with a lot
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of people who are very irish republicans in my experience over the last 10 days, two weeks is that the level of of incredulity, bio and then i'm in denial. i'm trying to say that without any judgment, seriously. i'm serious. it's somewhat staggering. my question therefore i'd like to have -- i personally have the same as much optimism as you do, david regarding the next four years, but do you sense that there is a legitimate chance that in the next 10 to 15 years there will be a president elected who has some sort of ritual support as opposed to what i experienced in the last 10 days?
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i know they're fresh ones, but descents weren't coming from. >> and now, i think the good news to describe a lot of the republican plot against obama in the book and the good news is it's purely cynical, at least for republicans in washington. you got to remember until something happened on january 20th, 2009, there is if you million people yelling as we can, but said mike republicans lost their interest in keynesian stimulus, which has always been part of their platform and never republican candidate in 2008, just as there from his health care plan became kenyan socialism and john mccain's cap-and-trade plan and lots of things that were in the stimulus, things like the smart great and health records
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and extending unemployment benefits has never been controversial before. so the good news is the fever could break and certainly mitch mcconnell famously said his top priority would be keeping obama a one term president. not anymore. he has to have a different priority now. but the problem is the incentive structure or republicans. i'm not the first to point out in the book how they shut their moderates as they become more and more dependent on tea party voters. mitch mcconnell has to worry about a primary challenge in 2014 and john boehner has to worry about a leadership challenge from the right. they're certainly a print on what they can do. that said, and the incentives
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has changed me so chris christie's incentive change and there's the fiscal cliff creates different kinds of incentives and yet the end of that one term goal means that different republicans will start to have different incentives, which then means on immigration, on a long-term deficit to there will be avenues for potential cooperation, whether it takes more asked the same, ask again or a real statesmen to lead the republicans towards a different future, that sort of depends what happens over the next few years. >> i would just add that there's a real brutality to politics in washington that was just breathtaking to me when i came there is a relative outsider going into denial and the best
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time of the political apparatus in washington. and i think, you know, and it is bipartisan horribleness. it's not just republicans being anti-democrat or democrats being anti-republican. it's there because it works and its effective politics and will continue to be that way. in some ways, obama out brutalize trombley, especially june and july of this year are very intense negative campaigning that defined him in a way that static legitimately or illegitimately. the lesson of the election is not open positiveness and having a positive message. the message of the election is the brutal early and the effect is. i may become much or as a during my two and a half years in washington, but i see this as a way of until the crater since
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someone does have an ability if the american people get so sick of it and someone takes the chance to breaks away from the genius consultant to make so much money off of this process is then going to do it differently and we get back to the positive campaign to see if it works. i just don't see a lot of area of optimism. [applause] >> i wouldn't hold my breath for that one. but just to close it out with a slightly different perspective, i covered bill clinton and the hatred was heading towards him as early as his first campaign in 1974 when he ran for congress in northwest arkansas and was criticized in the pulpits of fair comment, the in, that level of future hall, has only increased 20 fold over the course of the years and even
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that technology in itself is mutual, the way things can be spread now by relief to millions of people of misinformation only intensifies that process. so in that sense, it is somewhat discouraging. in another sense, a lot of the most violent barbiturate alec aspects of it right now are based on demographic fears, so it's kind of a rearguard action against the inevitable. [applause] >> here's a look at some books being published this week.
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>> u.s. senator sheldon whitehouse next room providence, rhode island. his book is "on virtues: quotations and insight to live a full, honorable, and truly american life". >> we were coming on that dreadful fielder moua passing to the up in ranks of the superb or grade of infantry. we were back at him he had shoes. the banners of our army had bloody and shreds. there were less than a thousand of us with arms in our hands. they were bright and burnish still. this is a book that is a somewhat personal and quirky book, but it's one person spoke through history and to what people have said in the past to pull out things that have
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meaning that i think still have meaning in modern life. i collected things that i like for my own use a dataset to more into it, i began to collect them at the thought that this is america a pass on on to my children. i ran across a college friend and he said this is pretty good. you ought to consider publishing it. he knew an agent in on it went from there. i sort of variety, hand written code book has now been turned into this nice looking theme. i started collecting quotes when i was working for governor someone. and then when i went on to the u.s. attorney's office i kept adding to them. the reason was twofold.
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one was to keep a record of things that meant a lot to me. the other is simply things that i can't be used for and arguments and debates and discussions, to make points and things like that. so lawyers looking at this book will flip through it and see a lot of quotations from supreme court cases and i try to assemble them into the same sort of packet so that you get the point and you can move on to other things. but there is a piece of days that was about being a better lawyer and not get as well as being a better person and citizens. and like you don't always succeed, but you can try to. in times of strasse or when i'm questioning some thing, i fairly often go back and flip through the book or try to remember
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something that was in it and there are examples of courage and heroism and faith and strength in adversity and holding firm through difficult circumstances and not those things they think are useful in life, even if i don't always succeed at implementing a. a quote from isaiah. and the ford said, who shall i send them who shall go for us to ask the said lord here i am, send me. i think that here i am condescending spirit is one i was brought up with and i try to show that as a principle that i care about and live by in my own life. i did want a resource that i could go back to attacking senate that meant something to me and it still is that
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resource. i've used the quote in speeches in the senate. when the bush administration was trying to justify its use of torture, and used a quote from winston churchill about how it looks good at the beginning, but go down that road and against bad and he talks about a staircase leading down and it's brightly lit and carpeted at the top nsc go down, the carpet and from the trans fail and eventually crumbles beneath your feet. and that's a great image and sometimes the right image can make a difference in an argument. i'm very, very exposed and engaged in rhode island size, so you know, things like our revolutionary war general nathaniel greene saying aside akp, i rise up in can.
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that is a good rhode island thing. the quote from the touro synagogue, the warden wrote a letter to 10, asking you should always be the policy of the united states to get to bigotry no sanction. washington at the politicians can interpret for you still sit out and writes it back to him to the congregation. and there's a number of others. those are good rhode island history. some of it is a lot more personal. john chafee, my predecessor in the senate was advised by my father, never tease a crocodile until you've crossed the stream and that is something i think if you're in the legislative business, when you represent that you something you don't want to live with it too much. you get your and go back to what else you have to do. there's a lot of rhode island and spirits in rhode island.
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one of the things about the book and its close that defines a truly american life is nice and it is truly american life includes being engaged as a citizen, being engaged as a voter, as a public voice, being engaged in office, in your community, however you choose to do it, it is very inherently american to see ourselves as citizens and as having an act to the overall and our community, society and politics. so a lot of these quotes focus on that relationship, the structure of government, how it works, its frustrations, educational moments of glory, what people who spend a lot of time and have thought inside about it. i hope the book encourages both a little bit of patience with our politics, but also a heightened engagement.
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i hope it sets minor parties not just a reference work. it's not the place where you go to look for a quote to open a speech. it's more something that somebody can flip through if they are thinking about issues in their life, if they're wondering about their engagement as citizens, if they are facing some suffering or in 13 t. and i think the book, just because the way of the selected ends up having a bit of a voice of its own, where they do the reference book full of quotations come from every different angle. i think there is kind of a flow or a theme to a lot of what's in this book. i put the comments and after the quotations sometimes just to highlight the part of the quotation that i particularly like, or sometimes to show why i
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thought it was important in case somebody was wondering why it was in there. it also makes the book a little more personal because each quote comes with a little explanation. , site of the goods from me rather than fear is this everyday. i want a reader to take away from this book the sense that they have a lot to contribute and a richer, more new ones to understanding of how kind of unusual and special our political processes. here we are in a sort of loggerhead moments and, you know, the situations repeat themselves to time and you go back and think of people who abandon them before and there's
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a quote from a very widely minister of france who said one not out to be obstinate unless one ought to be. then, one onto the unshakable. i think that is a good phrase for the moment we are in right now. i hope that the president, where he ought to be obstinate will be unshakable. i still collect quotes and i think i probably will the rest of my life because you run across these things and they're terrific. whether it's a window into a moment of history are particularly well for a spot that has an emotional resonance to it. it seems to have on hand. >> for more information on book to these recent visit to rhode island, go to c-span.org/local
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content. >> you don't always find a newspaper editors any area embracing investigative reporting. the point we've seen over the years is not just economics. it's a discomfort investigative reporting causes in a newsroom because it's troubled son. it's that more than the economics. if you ruffle the feathers of somebody powerful, take his people running in to complain to the publisher and the stories are legion. donna and i were fortunate to 70s and almost all of our careers to work for people who are strong in the right in that area and let the chips fall where they may, where the work they do. ..